Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) announces its 2022 exhibition programme, including the first European museum exhibition of sculpture by exceptional American artist, Robert Indiana (1928-2018).
A vibrant indoor and outdoor display of Indiana’s work in Yorkshire, Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018 will provide a unique opportunity to see the development of his sculpture across six decades of crucial social and political change, drawing out themes that were important to Indiana and that remain relevant today.
In February, a selection of drawings by sculptor and land artist David Nash will be presented in The Weston Gallery and the Bothy Gallery, and Yukihiro Akama’s intricate, carved miniature wooden houses will be displayed in YSP Centre. Other highlights include an exhibition of drawings by Jaume Plensa across two galleries from June, complementing the exciting display of Plensa’s sculpture in the open air.
Responding to Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculptures and themes from the exhibition, YSP presents the Summer of Love – a season filled with activities, interventions, artist commissions and events for all ages, celebrating and exploring human connections, kindness, and the magnificent and complex diversity of love, beginning on the summer solstice and ending with the autumn equinox. Also during the summer, Roger Hiorns will bring his playful active-foam installation A Retrospective View of the Pathway to YSP.
YSP continues its diverse artist awards programme that supports talent development at every stage of an artist’s career. In 2022, an exciting line up of contemporary artists will take up residence at YSP, including Ellie Niblock and Jessica Rost from the UK and Deborah Rundle from New Zealand. Nottingham-based artist Michael Forbes will be YSP’s 2022 Associate Artist, continuing his research into the work of artist Elisabeth Frink and the North American philosopher, George Yancy.
Following an impactful inaugural year, the Oak Project continues to pose the question “Can art save us from extinction?” with a significant new commission at YSP for 2022.
Families and children are invited to join us throughout the year in the Hidden Forest and in the park to be inspired by nature. YSP’s extensive learning programme will invite people of all ages to explore sculpture in the open air, examining themes around art and landscape, identity, materials and abstraction. School sessions will be inspired by David Nash: Full Circle as well as the life and art of Robert Indiana.
YSP continues its series of exhibitions that bring together craft, design, illustration and the natural world with shows by Annie Montgomerie, Janine Burrows and Samantha Bryan throughout 2022 to early 2023. Available for sale at YSP and online, the income supports YSP’s exhibition, events and learning programmes.
2022 is a landmark year as YSP celebrates its 45th anniversary and sees Founding Director Peter Murray retire. To mark the occasion, a new publication will be produced telling remarkable stories of YSP through words, images and a timeline replete with fascinating material from the archives.
David Nash: Full Circle
19 February – 5 June 2022
The Weston Gallery and Bothy Gallery
David Nash has dedicated his artistic life to an evolving study of trees and wood. This exhibition in The Weston Gallery is dedicated to his drawings inspired by trees, from the observational and documentary, through to intensely coloured, abstract works that capture their life force.
Nash’s association with YSP began over 40 years ago and Full Circle marks an affinity between artist and organisation. In the early 1980s, he wrote in a letter to YSP: “environment and ecology are a first consideration for me as an artist”. This prescient, enduring occupation with the intersection of nature, art and humanity, makes Nash’s work ever more pertinent as we address the climate crisis.
Drawing is as central in Nash’s practice as the trees it grows from. Works in The Weston Gallery, many of which have never been exhibited before, will be enlivened by the natural light and landscape views. Over 50 drawings from the 1970s to the present day reflect different processes and types of mark-making, from fine graphite lines to thick charcoal strokes, and bold swathes of pure pigment.
In the Bothy Gallery, films, archival photographs and works on paper will chart Nash’s creative partnership with YSP, and a reconsideration of his site-specific works made between 1981 and 2013 is enabled through a circular walk linking the two galleries.
A publication will feature a conversation between Nash and YSP’s Founding Director, Peter Murray, who will retire in 2022 – a perfect opportunity to reflect on a connection that has developed over four decades.
Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018
12 March 2022 – 8 January 2023
Underground Gallery and Open Air
YSP presents a dynamic selection of sculpture, painting and prints spanning 60 years of Robert Indiana’s career. This is the first European museum exhibition of sculpture by the artist and will enable contextual and wide public understanding and appreciation of an exceptional American artist.
Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018 is an opportunity to see the development of the artist’s sculpture across six decades of significant social and political change. Through the selection of 47 works, 34 of which are sculptures with six shown in the open air, the exhibition explores the nuanced character of Indiana’s practice, describing how he inflected the darker side of the American dream. Exploring his ambitions for unity, acceptance and love for all people, the exhibition will draw out themes that were important to Indiana and that remain relevant today, such as campaigns against racism and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.
A number of the iconic LOVE sculptures will be displayed, including LOVE (Red Blue Green) (1966-98) announcing the exhibition at the entrance to the park.
The sculptural iterations retain a sense that they are extruded forms of the two-dimensional letters, unmistakable as Indiana’s characteristic style, with the slanted ‘O’ and the square format that was, as the artist stated, “the most dynamic way to use four letters”.
The brilliantly coloured aluminium Numbers ONE Through ZERO (1980–2001), positioned on the Gallery Lawn, blends painting and sculpture in Indiana’s characteristic style, representing the stages in life, from birth to death.
A 45-page illustrated guide and a 128-page catalogue will be produced, featuring in-situ photography and including texts by Flavia Frigeri, Chanel Curator for the Collection at the National Portrait Gallery and the author of Pop Art and Women Artists (Art Essentials); Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at YSP; Simon Salama-Caro from the Morgan Art Foundation, New York; and the artist.
The exhibition is supported by the Morgan Art Foundation.
Jaume Plensa: In small places, close to home
18 June – 30 October 2022
The Weston Gallery and Chapel
In collaboration with the Picasso Museum, Antibes, YSP presents two complementary installations of drawing by Jaume Plensa. They highlight the artist’s devotion to a process that traverses many media and navigates the relationship between language and silence, darkness and light.
Works in The Weston Gallery will reflect Plensa’s belief in the importance of encoding human rights in political systems and of unifying diverse cultures, ages, genders, faiths, and races. They include Face (2008), a series of mixed media works on paper featuring portraits of people from across the globe alongside excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also featured is April is the Cruellest Month (2020-21), a group of 28 drawings made during lockdown, addressing universal psychological reactions such as panic and anxiety. Taking drawing into three-dimensions are Continents I & II (2000), etched onto layered glass slabs, and the suspended wire heads Invisibles (2016).
Plensa’s installation in YSP’s 18th century Chapel will amplify its qualities as a spiritual and meditative place. In the nave, two marble sculptures of girls’ heads with closed eyes will stand in silent communion, suggesting hope for a shared global humanity. On the walls, the dark forms of Anònims (2003), 16 drawings of shadowy, almost human-sized bodies with unknown faces, are ciphers for generations, a community of souls.
Plensa’s White Nomad (2021) is newly sited in the Chapel Garden, joining his cast iron sculpture Wilsis (2016) located on the lake shore and Wonderland (1993), on the west end of the Visitor Centre. An illustrated publication documenting this project as well as some of Plensa’s seminal works previously shown at YSP will be available shortly after opening. The partner exhibition of Plensa’s drawings at the Picasso Museum, Antibes runs June to September 2021. A major publication of Plensa drawings will accompany both exhibitions.
The exhibition is supported by Galerie Lelong Paris and New York.
On 29 September Jaume Plensa’s new permanent sculpture, WE, located in Shard Quarter, London Bridge was unveiled. WE celebrates the diversity of language, creating a new dialogue through art as a sculpture comprised of two parts, one in The Shard’s piazza and one suspended outside the building’s entrance, facing each other. The Shard’s owners, the State of Qatar and Sellar, commissioned the piece with curatorial support from Futurecity and a public art advisory committee.
The Summer of Love
21 June – 22 September 2022
Taking inspiration from the Robert Indiana exhibition, the Summer of Love is a series of events and projects that celebrates human relationships, understanding and love between people. As well as sparking moments of pure, joyful connection, the programme will investigate the complexities of love and community: how we relate to one another and ourselves, and how we can represent love in a way that is inclusive of and compassionate to everyone.
Running from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox, different chapters exploring expansive ideas around love will unfold, expressed in many forms from temporary sculptural installations to dance and choral performance, working with artists that currently include Jason Wilsher-Mills, Thahmina Begum, Roger Hiorns, Rosanne Robertson, Jordan McKenzie and Phil Sanger.
In the Bothy Gallery, a summer-long programme made in collaboration with LGBTQIA+ communities will span film screenings, readings, workshops and pop-ups, as well as focused engagement work. At times the gallery will be used as a safe space for invited groups to explore and learn together in a supportive environment. This will be a place for sharing experiences and listening and will provide a platform for diverse representation responding to the programme themes.
Yorkshire Graduate Award | University of the Arts, London
YSP presents a diverse and energetic programme that supports talent development at every stage of an artist’s career. This includes our annual visiting artist awards with universities in London and Yorkshire, which give artists access to networking, mentoring and facilities to make work at YSP, often resulting in a project.
Applications for the 2022 Yorkshire Graduate Award will open in February 2022. Future opportunities will be announced via ysp.org.uk/opportunities
YSP Associate Artist
Michael Forbes was selected as the 2020 YSP Royal College of Art Graduate Award recipient. To coincide with his first solo exhibition, at Djanogly Gallery (University of Nottingham), Forbes has begun philosophical conversations focusing on the work of artist Elisabeth Frink and the North American philosopher, George Yancy, whose focus is critical philosophy of race.
YSP recently received a significant number of sculptures, works on paper and plasters by Elisabeth Frink. Forbes’ imagined conversations, with outcomes initially including a commissioned essay, consider the physical appearance of Frink’s sculptures, philosophical criticism in thought, intent and how this influences his own artistic practice, which explores contemporary racial politics and international social justice.
Yorkshire Graduate Award
Winter 2021 and Spring 2022
Jessica Rost is a sculptor and performance artist who considers the sustainability of art practices and lives off-grid – a decision that the artist sees as a political action and an act of solidarity with the environment. She recently completed her MA in Fine Art at the University of Leeds and has been awarded YSP’s Yorkshire Graduate Award 2021.
Rost joins YSP in winter 2021 to continue her investigation into low impact living and temporary ‘homes’, and to research the history of protest camps, environmental activism and the importance of plants. She will return in spring 2022 to extend her public-facing practice by inviting visitors to encounter happenings and demonstrations of alternative practices and off-grid techniques.
Art for the Environment Graduate Award,
University of the Arts, London
Winter 2021 and Spring 2022
Ellie Niblock is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in sculpture and digital technologies, interested in how they can alter our perception of experience. She creates highly decorative and tactile objects and manipulates them through software, in turn investigating the relationship between the physical and the digital worlds and how they co-exist. At YSP, Niblock will explore how human activity is detrimental to the wellbeing of the planet, looking at particle pollution and ways to make it visible to the naked eye through her work using Augmented Reality.
YSP and Te Tuhi New Zealand-UK Residency Award
Travel restrictions permitting, Deborah Rundle arrives in September 2022 to take up a four-week residency in partnership with Te Tuhi, one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary art spaces. Deborah Rundle’s practice focuses on language as a means to explore power relations, with a particular interest in the machinations of late capitalism. During her time onsite, Rundle will research and develop new work in response to the 1875 Woollen Weavers’ Strike in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and the key figure of labour activist Ann Ellis, linking actions from the past with contemporary labour issues. This Artist Award is supported by philanthropists Sigrid and Stephen Kirk.
The Oak Project
The Oak Project is a national arts programme that is creatively growing connection to nature, helping improve wellbeing and motivating environmental action. In 2021, the Oak Project launched its first major open air sculpture commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds, hosted at YSP, by artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison. The pavilion-style sculpture, built entirely from natural materials, provides the opportunity for visitors to stop and connect with the natural surroundings, and over time the artwork will be reclaimed by nature as the weather contributes to its decomposition and becomes a new habitat for wildlife.
In 2022, the Oak Project will commission a new work that will dynamically engage people in nature connectedness to form the centrepiece of the project’s second year of programming. Responding to the question “Can art save us from extinction?”, the work will begin its life at YSP before touring to at least two other locations in the UK throughout 2022 to reach as wide an audience as possible.
The project is a collaboration between the University of Derby, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Bronze Oak Project Ltd, and will run for five years. Other projects in 2021 included Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow, a Silver Gilt Award-winning installation by Charlotte Smithson at RHS Chelsea 2021; a collaboration with Future20 Collective, and the Tune Into Nature Music Prize – a national music competition for ages 16-29.
Roger Hiorns: A Retrospective View of the Pathway
As part of YSP’s 45-year anniversary celebrations, Roger Hiorns brings his interactive foam installation to transform and activate the landscape in summer 2022. Hiorns’ work is based on a progressive idea of pushing forward and deviating from established norms of sculpture production. He proposes new forms alongside the adaptation, re-use and transformation of existing objects. A Retrospective View of the Pathway comprises large-scale stainless-steel tanks, a compressor and bubble solution.
The work is activated at certain times of the day, to produce giant clouds of foam clusters. The clusters are shaped by wind and spread across the landscape, blurring the lines between the parkland and art and questioning traditional physical boundaries of sculpture.
By introducing this unusual and alien material to the surrounding greenery of the natural setting, Hiorns celebrates the joy and fascination of change. He places people at the centre of this interactive work by inviting visitors to engage with it as a place of liberation for both children and adults.
45th Anniversary Publication
In 2022, YSP celebrates its 45th anniversary and to mark the occasion we are producing a new publication that tells our remarkable story through words, images and a timeline replete with fascinating material from YSP’s archive. Beautifully illustrated with photography from across the decades and featuring the artists who are the heartbeat of all we do, this substantial hardback book will be an essential guide to this special place.
YSP was the UK’s first permanent sculpture park and is now a renowned centre for modern and contemporary art. Over the last 45 years we have evolved from humble beginnings to become an extraordinary art institution – one that holds a genuine place of affection and meaning in the lives of many people locally, nationally and internationally.
A text by YSP’s Founding Director Peter Murray, details a narrative of incredible growth, driven by a desire to create opportunities for everyone to experience and enjoy great art in a unique environment where people feel inspired and at home. Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has collaborated with YSP for over 10 years and his poems will punctuate the book, standing alongside the landscapes and works that inspired them.
YSP Learning Programme
The 2022 learning programme at YSP will be filled with fascinating workshops, sessions and events for people of all ages, exploring our connection to the natural world, the relationships that shape us, and ways we can express our creativity through drawing and making. Artist-led sessions for schools explore sculpture in the open air year-round, examining art and landscape, identity, materials and abstraction. There will be special school sessions to explore mark-making inspired by David Nash: Full Circle as well as the life and artwork of Robert Indiana.
We look forward to hosting more of our well-loved CPD sessions and study days for educators during the spring and summer term. The Summer of Love will be alive with activities for all ages that explore people, our relationships and what connects us through creative exploration and expression. Dynamic, intriguing and practical offers for families and children continue throughout the year in our Hidden Forest and in the park, inspired by our relationship to nature and the work of the Oak Project.
YSP Shops Exhibition Programme
Yukihiro Akama: Ki no ie
26 February – 29 May 2022
Working from a furniture maker’s workshop in Huddersfield where he is surrounded by the natural world, Yukihiro Akama creates beautifully intricate miniature wooden houses, each one carved from a single piece of wood. Originally from Japan, Akama worked as an architect and built a traditional timber and mud store house using his mother’s gardening tools. Each work he creates reflects his memories of this intimate process, representing home, loss, identity and love.
He begins with a hand drawn sketch on an offcut of oak, walnut, sapele, iroko or maple. The wood often dictates the starting point for the design, with the knots guiding where Akama cuts and carves. Gradually they take on the appearance of traditional Asian stilt houses –low and long, with large roofs, with intricate details of clay render and pebbles minimally decorating the surfaces. Akama uses traditional Japanese tools, creating rough surfaces to sit against smooth, and finishing areas with a blow torch prior to polishing and oiling each piece.
March – May 2022
YSP Centre Shop
Artist, illustrator and designer Rob Ryan has a close relationship with YSP and to celebrate our 45th anniversary, we have invited him to create a unique limited edition that both celebrates YSP and helps support our charitable work.
Rob Ryan is a renowned artist who has exhibited widely across the UK and internationally and has collaborated with Fragonard, Tatty Devine, SCP, Paul Smith, Liberty of London and Vogue, amongst many other established brands. Ryan has written and illustrated numerous books including The Kingdom Trilogy, and more recently, I Thought About It In My Head and I Felt It In My Heart But I Made It With My Hands, all published by Rizzoli.
Janine Burrows: Table to Tide: A Yorkshire Conversation
11 June – 23 October 2022
Janine Burrows is a designer, painter and illustrator based in West Yorkshire. She applies her background in surface pattern and printed textile to create expressive, textural depictions of British countryside and coastal areas in paint, using subtle colour and delicate detailing.
Table to Tide: A Yorkshire Conversation will be a celebration of Yorkshire, including works across different media and a new limited edition screen print.
With this new body of work, Burrows explores many endearing and captivating places found in Yorkshire, including some exclusive site-specific pieces created especially for YSP.
It takes Burrows back to her grassroots – from her back garden to the North Yorkshire Coast, her neighbourhood allotments to YSP, small havens and longed-for-spaces, celebrating her birthplace and homeland.
Samantha Bryan: The Adventure So Far
18 September 2022 – 23 October 2022
Working from her garden studio in West Yorkshire, the designer, maker and illustrator Samantha Bryan creates a delicate, humorous yet industrious species of fairy. Often growing out of her eclectic hoard of beautiful buttons, spotted feathers, dyed leather or seed pods, Bryan lets the materials inform the personality of her fairies.
After appearing on the front cover of Crafts Magazine shortly after graduating in 2002, Bryan is now marking 20 years of making, with a jubilant collection of these detailed and delightful characters and the launch of a book about the discovery of the fairies, how they’ve evolved and their adventures so far.
Annie Montgomerie: Hand Me Downs
5 November 2022 – 26 February 2023
The theme of Annie Montgomerie’s work relates to childhood and the emotions intertwined in that precious stage of life. Combining this with a love of animals, Annie creates childlike figures with expressive faces conveying a range of magnified mental states that a child may experience in different situations.
Made using vintage fabrics and incorporating found objects, her work observes and comprehends the tensions of childhood, inviting us to empathise with its bittersweetness.
Creating the atmosphere of an old school photograph, Hand Me Downs will house a collection of British animals – cats, dogs, foxes, lambs and rabbits, together with some more exotic species – each bringing their own experiences and personality to the group.
Graduating from University of Plymouth in 1991, Annie Montgomerie has shown her life-like creatures worldwide and she now works on her creations in her native Dorset.